Acquisition process
Te tukanga whai taonga

Primarily, Te Papa collects items that have (or might grow to have) iconic value for New Zealand. We receive funding from the government for collections development, enabling us to acquire major items of national significance.

Collection Development Policy

Our Collection Development Policy provides the guiding principles for collection development, including principles in relation to:

  • kaitiakitanga (guardianship) of taongataonga treasures
  • repatriation
  • the management of kōiwi tangata (human remains)
  • acquisition and deaccessioning procedures
  • conflict of interest resolution protocols for those involved in our collection development.

Our collections policy

Acquisitions Strategy

Te Papa’s Collection Development Policy is supported by our Acquisitions Strategy which establishes acquisition procedures and priorities for collection development over a three-year period. We review this strategy every year.

Why do we collect?

We collect significant cultural property and information related to Te Papa’s vision, in order to document, illustrate, and explore the natural and cultural heritage of New Zealand and those parts of the world that have contributed to our country’s identity.

We do this to:

  • capture the imagination of New Zealanders
  • anchor concepts, values, and ideas to tangible objects
  • add to the record of scholarship, including mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge systems)
  • provide a resource for research.

Our vision and future

Recent acquisitions

See our Annual Reports for a list of acquisitions in each year